Why did Alejandro González Iñárritu snub Mad Max’s Oscar-winning costume designer?

Twitter is rife with rumours surrounding Jenny Beavan’s win

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu winning at the Oscars
Iñárritu the incredible. The Mexican filmmaker won the Best Director Oscar for a second year running Image Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Alejandro González Iñárritu may be celebrating a second-consecutive Academy Award for Best Director, but all fans on social media care about is his reaction Jenny Beavan’s win.

Labelled a “Bag lady” by Stephen Fry during her appearance at the BAFTAs earlier this month, the veteran costume designer’s victory for Best Costume on Mad Max: Fury Road was seemingly not well received by several members of the audience – including Iñárritu.

Sitting close to the aisle, as Beavan made her way down to the stage, the director of The Revenant not only opted against clapping Beavan but also appeared to have his arms crossed.

Though he reportedly resumed clapping once she reached the stage, fans have since gone into overdrive online with a variety of theories behind the apparent snub.

The most popular concerns her attire.

Sporting a leather jacket, scarf and jeans similar to the outfit that attracted jokes by her friend Fry, it’s claimed that Iñárritu simply didn’t approve of her choice to opt against formal evening wear.

However, speaking in the press room afterwards, Beavan offered up a strong rebuttal of any such criticism:

“I really don’t do frocks, and I absolutely don’t do heels,” said the 65-year-old. “I simply can’t wear them. I’ve got a bad back. I look ridiculous in a beautiful gown, and this was an homage to Mad Max. I’m actually wearing Marks & Spencer’s, I just like feeling comfortable. And I’m sorry — as far as I’m concerned, I’m really dressed up.”

The theory doesn’t fit with most views of 52-year-old Iñárritu, who has previously spoken out against the ‘whitewash’ of the Academy Awards and is someone widely viewed as a progressive filmmaker.

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu on the red carpet.
Seeing red Iñárritu appeared unhappy at Jenny Beavan's win. Image Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Alternatively, and perhaps more likely, the Mexican filmmaker may have merely taken Beavan’s victory badly, as The Revenant’s costume designer Jacqueline West was up for the award against Beavan.

From a strategic standpoint, with Mad Max winning so many of the night’s technical awards, Iñárritu may have feared that The Revenant’s chances of claiming Best Picture were fast slipping away.

Others have suggested that the incident was the result of Beavan taking too long to reach the stage, or that the Birdman director was simply caught at an inopportune moment by the cameras.

Whatever the case, Iñárritu is unlikely to face the same kind of backlash as Fry.

The BAFTAs host quit Twitter after saying Beavan was dressed as a bag lady when she accepted her award at the London ceremony.

Fry later clarified that – unbeknownst to viewers watching the BAFTAs on BBC1 – Beavan was a good friend who was in on the joke. When the abuse continued, Fry deleted his Twitter account and said the   site had become “a cesspool”.

Iñárritu has yet to pass comment. The incident took the attention away from the fact that he’s the first director in Oscars history to win Best Director in consecutive years.

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